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Library History

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Milford Public Library Then

In the fall of 1907, the Columbian Reading Circle spearheaded the formation of the Milford Public Library Associates. The first location for the new library was in the waiting room of the Winona Interurban station, which was in the Hotel Milford. Eighty volumes were borrowed from the state and the community held a “book shower”. Miss Arilla Arnold donated her services as the librarian. In 1908, the city voted a levy of three cents. Those first few years the library was located in several locations.

In May of 1916, the library board purchased the ground where the library now stands. Later that same year, the board was finally assured of $10,000 from the Andrew Carnegie Fund, and a contract was drawn up with Milford, Van Buren, and East Jefferson Townships, whereby all future maintenance and support would be provided by these taxing units. The Carnegie obligation ended with the building fund.

The cornerstone for the original building was laid April 12, 1918, and the grand opening was held in January 1919.

Dorothea Groves, later Kerlin, was hired in 1926 and remained in that position until 1973. During her years of service, the collection grew to 18,000 volumes and the library became a community center.

A basement meeting room housed organizations including Farm Bureau, Grange, the American Legion, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, Conservation Club, the Town Board, and a kindergarten. During W.W.II, it became a Red Cross workplace.

Children’s programming began in the 1970s. Milford Public Library’s sesquicentennial year, 1986, saw the refurbishing and redecoration of the library.

The 1995 building expansion doubled the library’s space at a cost of $1.2 million. The additional 4,409 square feet allowed the library more room for materials and the development of a meeting room. It was the first Milford building to have an elevator to make it fully accessible to the handicapped.

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Milford Public Library Now

Today, the library serves a population of 4,597 (4,013 in Van Buren Township and 584 in rural East Jefferson Township). We are a part of the Evergreen Indiana Consortium, which provides individuals with access to millions of materials.

We provide summer and winter reading programs, Story Time, a monthly Knitting Club, nutritional programs, and more. With your help, we plan to continue to expand our resources and programs to better serve our community.